Butter

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Butter
Genre(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
September 04, 2012
ISBN
1599907801
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A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans? With a deft hand, E.J. Lange allows readers to identify with both the bullies and the bullied in this all-consuming look at one teen's battle with himself.

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Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0  (1)
Characters 
 
4.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Compelling

Butter is a hard book to put down. The narrative style is authentic and unpretentious, much like Butter himself, and it immediately sucks the reader into the story. Every detail felt true, from Butter's compulsion to eat, to his dr visits, to his mother's enabling of his condition. The scenes at Butter's school also felt truthful to his experience, if a bit myopic in scope because Butter is withdrawn and painfully self-conscious, and so his view of his school experiences mirror that.

Butter is a complex, nuanced character with multiple facets to his life. There's the Butter who pretends to be someone else online so he can talk to his crush. The Butter who gobbles down five helpings of pot roast just to force his father to look away in disgust. The Butter who plays saxophone like a prodigy at night with his professor's band. The Butter who moves through school with silent, painful awareness of his size. And then the Butter who, in desperation, posts a suicide plan and suddenly has to deal with the resulting popularity and the fallout of his choices.

While Butter rings very true for the reader, the other characters come across as one-note characters in many ways. This may be because the narrative is from Butter's point of view, and it takes character growth from him to begin to see layers to the people around him. Butter is definitely a flawed character, which is what makes him delightfully relatable to readers.

The strength of this book lies in its honest, raw portrayal of what it feels like to be a teenager who desperately wants to live the kind of life he can see himself living inside his head, but who doesn't yet have the strength and perseverance to make that a reality. Teens and adults alike will find truths that resonate here.

Final Verdict:

Authentic, honest, and compelling, BUTTER is a must-read for fans of contemporary literature.

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